Demonstrators upset with promotion of OPD officers

- Oakland police on Friday held a long and large ceremony celebrating the promotions of almost 40 officers and employees, but two names on that list are sparking controversy over their involvement in the investigation into the notorious sexual misconduct scandal that involved a former underage sex worker. 

While OPD celebrated at the Scottish Rite Center, a handful of protesters gathered outside in anger. They say two officers being promoted were involved in the investigation into the infamous Celeste Guap case. The investigation drew scathing criticism from an outside law firm that investigated the handling of the case. 

"Instead of disciplining, they are promoting and that is unacceptable," said James Burch one of the demonstrators. 

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf attended the ceremony, but steered away from the controversy as she brushed past the protesters and TV cameras. 

"Free country, free speech. It's an important part of our democracy," she said. 

The two officers whose promotions are under fire are; John Lois, who was promoted to assistant chief, the number two job under Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick, and Roland Holmgren, who was promoted to captain. 

Both were two of the most senior members in the department overseeing the investigation into officers having sex with underage sex worker Celeste Guap. 

An outside investigation found that investigators allowed Guap to delete texts from other officers. 

"There is a standard in Oakland for supervisor accountability and another for the little officer guy accountability and that needs to change," said Jim Chanin, a civil rights attorney who has been monitoring the OPD for more than a decade. 

"The two individuals as well as a large number I spoke about in court were not investigated at all and they should be investigated," said Chanin. 

Oakland police say the promotions were made prior to the release of the critical report. "The promotions will stand at this time," said spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson. 

Typically OPD allows TV cameras inside the promotions ceremony, but this year we were told we could not come in. 

 

 

 

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